Celebrating Kiyoshi Kuromiya : Google Doodle celebrates the inspiring life of Kiyoshi Kuromiya
Kiyoshi Kuromiya (May 9, 1943 – May 10, 2000) was a Japanese American author and civil rights, anti-war, gay liberation, and HIV/AIDS activist. Born in Wyoming at the World War II-era Japanese American internment camp known as Heart Mountain, Kuromiya became an aide to Martin Luther King Jr. and a prominent opponent of the Vietnam War during the 1960s
Site of the internment camp that Kuromiya’s family was relocated to and where he was born.
One of the founders of the Gay Liberation Front Philadelphia, Kuromiya also founded the Critical Path Project and its newsletter; he was also the editor of ACT UP’s Standard of Care, the first medical treatment and cultural competency guidelines to be produced for people living with HIV by people living with HIV/AIDS.
Gay Liberation Struggle
In addition to Kuromiya’s civil rights and antiwar movement involvement, Kiyoshi was very active in the gay liberation movement. Kuromiya actually officially came out as gay on July 4, 1965, at the first Annual Reminder protest which took place at Independence Hall. There were similar demonstrations in Washington, D.C. and New York City and the Philadelphia protest brought in a total of 12 activists. The Annual Reminder protest happened for five years until 1969 and was the first time on record where individuals publicly assembled to call for equal rights for homosexuals.
Google Doodle celebrates the inspiring life of Kiyoshi Kuromiya
Kiyoshi Kuromiya’s inspiring life and legacy of activism are honoured in today’s Doodle, which features a portrait of the activist. Many causes were close to his heart, including civil rights, anti-war, the liberation of the gay community, and the spread of HIV/AIDS education. Kuromiya was inducted into the Stonewall National Monument’s National LGBTQ Wall of Honor on this date in 2019.
As a result of Executive Order 9066, over 120,000 Japanese-Americans were forcibly removed from their homes in the United States and interned in government prison camps during World War II (aka Japanese internment camps). The date of Kuromiya’s birth was May 9, 1943, in an internment camp in Wyoming. After the war, Kuromiya’s family relocated to California, where he encountered discrimination as a gay Asian-American attending a predominantly Caucasian school. He later admitted that he had no idea what the terms “gay” and “gay culture” meant because he had never read about them. So, Kuromiya went to the public library to learn more about his identity as a result of this
In college, he was influenced by the Civil Rights Movement at the University of Pennsylvania, where he established himself as a social activist. The Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965 were notable for the fact that he was one of the few Asian Americans to participate. The Black Panther Party and other oppressed groups were important to him, and he worked hard to strengthen ties with them. At Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell on every Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969, Kuromiya and other Gay Pioneers took part in the first organised demonstrations for gay and lesbian civil rights. His efforts to raise awareness about the inhumane use of napalm and to design a powerful poster protesting the draught at UPenn during the Vietnam War were a success.
In response to the AIDS pandemic ravaging the gay community, Kuromiya’s activism shifted to AIDS education. After being diagnosed with AIDS, he became a self-taught expert and joined organisations like ACT UP Philadelphia and People with AIDS (PWA). A 24-hour hotline for gay people was established by him in 1989, the first of its kind.
In 2018, he was also named a San Francisco Rainbow Honor Walk Honoree and inducted into the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor at Stonewall. One of Kuromiya’s most important roles was that of an advocate for marginalised groups and a tireless advocate for social justice.